Shovels - the Long and Short (under construction)

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How long is it?
That's a rather personal question, Sir.

- Monty Python's Lifeboat sketch

Sound familiar? Then you have had to ask this question at the local hardware or garden supply store because, where shovels are concerned, size really does matter - particularly the length. Consequently, it does come down to this basic and personal question.


But first, let's know what we are and are not talking about, shall we. Not spades. Spades are somewhat specialized and are really more for just digging in soil. We are not talking about those. We are rather talking about a multi-purpose tool primarily intended for creating holes, removing material from holes, replacing material into holes, or just generally moving piles of things from one place to another - anything really, even food from your plate to your face. Now then, on to shovels, and shoveling too.

The Long

You take your long-handled shovel,

Feed that coal-hungry fire,

Swing that shovel, that's a fireman's trade.

You've got your long-handled shovel

Three and a half feet of sweat-polished wood,

And a narrow steel blade.

- The Ballad of John Axon

The Short

There ain't no short handled shovels,

No axes, saws, nor picks.

I'm bound to stay where you sleep all day,

Where they hung the jerk that invented work,

In the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

- The Big Rock Candy Mountain, by Harry Mclintock

The End

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